60 Minutes Reporter: “How do you explain he’s still alive?”
Philly Newspaper Reporter: “They have lousy equipment. They needed better guns.”
Sadly, that line is almost as funny as the one in The Godfather: “Leave the gun. Take the canoli.”
It isn’t meant to be. Especially when you’re hearing it on an investigative news show.
The Hub and I heard it last night, as we watched a 60 Minutes report about a South Philly dude called used to be a hit man with the mob…
Well, he went on one hit. He was hired to kill a bartender, a guy who was his friend (???) and who was liked by a lot of people, including a few in a competing mob gang.
After the dirty deed, for some reason his “employer” refused to pay him for the hit, so he turned on them.
Yes, he also did some time, but the guys who ordered the hit got sent away for life times five.
The hitman is now supposedly in Witness Protection. The 60 Minutes Reporter puts it this way: “He lives under an alias. And few of his neighbors know of his past.”
The Hub: “Um….yeah, okay….but everyone watching the show has just seen his face.”
Me: “And even if the several millions of people who watch the show are (like me) blind as a bat), the dude has a pool and loves to walk around without a shirt, so his neighbors can see his massive tattoo, right? So….two and two equals….(I have it…wait a minute…) four?”
This is when The Hub (a journalist by trade) goes into a rant:
About sloppy journalism, both in television and print.
About silly feature articles.
About people who will do anything for attention, even if it means taking a life.
The Hub has a habit of dissecting every news show we watch, tearing it apart with a journalist’s eye as to the story’s hook (in this case, the show is questioning whether the wise guy has found “redemption”), the questions asked (to talk down to the audience? To reiterate a point already made?), and more importantly, the ones that should have been asked, but weren’t (sloppy journalism)–or at least weren’t shown, because of time restraints.
I’ll admit it, and so will The Hub: I am married to a journalism snob.
But he’s right in one regard: compared to some international and European outlets, American news reporting leaves a lot to be desired.
This exchange between 60 Minutes and the killer sums it up in a nutshell:
60 Minutes: You were an ex-con, a laborer. And a guy walks up to you and offers you $10,000 to do what?
Killer: Kill a guy.
60 Minutes: Were you interested?
Killer: I just said, “Yeah, where’s the gun?”
60 Minutes: That casual?
Killer: Yeah. He says, “Take some time to think about it.” Just said, “Take some time to get me the gun. And let’s get it done.”
60 Minutes: They’re offering you money to take somebody’s life.
Killer: But my question to that is real simple. How many poor people are being offered 10,000 to kill somebody?
60 Minutes: But that’s not an economic issue. That’s a moral issue.
Killer: No, it’s moral if you have morals.
60 Minutes: You had no morals?
Killer: Correct, none.
So, why do you make redemption hour hook?
Why do we care?
Why is this a story?
And how long will it take before his former goomba buds find him, and make an example of him?
Here’s my question to you: Would you kill someone for (a) money? (b) revenge), or (c) any reason at all?
Photo above: Dean Stockwell and Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred in the feature film, Married to the Mob. (Courtesy MGM/UA Home Entertainment)